Amber Nash/Pam Poovey
Pam Poovey loves primates … and other stuff you didn’t know about “Archer”’s Amber Nash.
If you saw Amber Nash on the street, you might not even notice. But that voice is unmistakable. Atlanta native Amber Nash found her big break as the voice of raunchy human resources director Pam Poovey on the animated comedy series “Archer”, which was recently picked up for a highly-anticipated 11th season on FX.
Nash is also a mainstay on the improv stage at Dad’s Garage Theater in Atlanta, and she’s working on a feature film with her husband, Canadian actor and writer Kevin Gillese. She took some time out of her busy schedule to chat with South about growing up in Atlanta, voicing potty-mouthed Pam and her affection for chimpanzees, among other topics.
South: You’re an Atlanta native and still live there. How has that shaped you?
Nash: When I was a teenager and in college, I really didn’t lean into my Southernness. If I was traveling outside the South, I was actually kind of embarrassed about being Southern, because Southern people are often portrayed as dumb or backward or not progressive. Those things can apply, but I think those things can apply anywhere. As I got a little bit older, I started to appreciate my Southernness more and see it as a part of who I was and how I identify and what made me different. I think Southernness has become a more well-rounded thing, especially in Atlanta.
South: Pam Poovey is a pretty wild character to become identified with. Do you and Pam have anything in common?
Nash: You know, we do have some things in common. I grew up doing comedy, and particularly when I was coming up, comedy was a boys club. Even as a kid, I played with the boys and was a tomboy, and I think Pam’s a little bit like that, too. I’ve got a dirty mouth. But the thing about Pam that I wish I was more like is she just doesn’t care. Pam is just so ballsy and doesn’t care what anyone thinks about her and does whatever she wants.
"But the thing about Pam that I wish I was more like is she just doesn’t care. Pam is just so ballsy and doesn’t care what anyone thinks about her and does whatever she wants."
South: You have a degree in psychology from Georgia State. Have you diagnosed the characters from “Archer” yet?
Nash: Haha, I haven’t thought about it. I think maybe Cheryl has borderline personality disorder, but I only have a bachelor’s degree and it’s over 20 years old, so it’s probably garbage at this point.
South: You and your husband are working on a feature film. What’s the status of that project?
Nash: Kevin wrote a Christmas movie, and I’m the lead. We’re super excited because it’s really funny, but it’s also a really sweet story. We’re going to hopefully shoot next winter and do a bunch of fundraising at the beginning of next year. It will all be shot in Georgia.
South: You’re a board member for a chimpanzee sanctuary in Georgia. There has to be a story behind that.
Nash: Yes! It’s called Project Chimp, and it’s in Blue Ridge, north of Atlanta. Coming up in school, one of the things I became really interested in is language research, and a lot of language research is done with primates, so I really got into primate behavior. We were all out to dinner one night with (“Archer” co-star) Judy Greer and her husband, Dean Johnson, started talking about how much he loves chimps and told me about this sanctuary. (Green Day frontman) Billie Joe Armstrong and his wife were part of the ground crew that started the sanctuary in 2016, when it became illegal to do research on chimps because they were endangered.